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I got a question the other day from reader Eugene, who writes in to say
I booked a 7 night stay at the Sheraton Rio De Janeiro, using the air + hotel voucher. I chose the location due to it being a category 4 and the location. It was booked under my daughters name(she is a minor). I get an email today informing me that reservations are being canceled due to hotel maintenance. The reservation was for March 3-10.This is the same time as the carnival so there is a shortage of rooms in the area. If there are any rooms they are cash only rooms, with prices starting for the needed nights around $400. Does the hotel have any obligation to accommodate me or provide some form of compensation? There are 4 hotels there, one is almost full, one is closed, and 2 are 15 miles away from the location of the original booking. I will not have a car, I will be using Uber.
Hotels canceling reservations
My first thought was that generally no, there isn’t a ton of recourse with hotel reservations. I’m not sure what (if any) status Eugene has with Marriott, but that might potentially help. It’s not like flights with Europe, which are covered
But then I started looking through the hotel website, and there’s nothing on there talking about any type of maintenance. It’s clearly still accepting reservations (though it says it’s sold out for these dates). I’m wondering if there isn’t something shady going on with the hotel due to the busy season.
Any suggestions on recourse for Eugene? He has already tried contacting Marriott and hasn’t gotten anywhere. Like I said, my suspicion is that the hotel is playing games due to the busy season (Carnival) and was oversold, so started bouncing points reservations first, but this seems super shady.
What would you do in this situation?
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This hotel was badly damaged by recent mudslides and has been closed for the time being. I was switched to the JW Marriott.
What was the process to get “switched”? Did it cost anything additional? How long ago was this?
I can’t find a single room, single night at that property for sale at Marriott or Booking.com until May 1.
Are hotel bookings allowed in the name of a minor? If I remember my business law class, minors cannot be held accountable to a contract. It also could give suspicion to child trafficking.
Why not have Eugene (re)book a base room in his own name at the Sheraton with a CC, and then call Marriott and explain what happened, and ask them to apply the voucher to his booking.
Take a look at Marriott’s walk policy. Doesn’t indicate time limit for invoking this to be the date of check in. The fact that the reservation was made under the daughter’s name and the daughter may not be an “elite” member of any tier (even silver) may hurt Eugene in invoking this (unless he provided His member number when making the reservation), but it may be worth a shot. Contact hotel and read them the terms and then contact Marriott and tell them hotel is refusing to honor Marriott guarantee if you get pushback.
This is not going to be an easy process. It took me weeks and about 10 phone calls to get a Marriott hotel to honor this policy after they cancelled a reservation when I arrived at the hotel due to a power outage.
Also, my cancelled night was on a cat. 1-4 cert. so this policy doesn’t apply to just paid reservations or regular points reservations. It also took almost 2 months for my cert. to be returned to my account after the cancellation. Good luck.
It sounds very similar to what hotels did that were in the path of the solar eclipse. People that were smart enough to book 1 year ahead at a lower rate saw their room canceled for suspicious reasons once mgt realized they could get 5 times the fee.
Sheraton was definitely damaged. I called them and they don’t know when they will reopen – possibly by end of March.
I just booked at the JW Marriott for carnival. There were a couple rooms left this evening- possible because of cancellations.